Mobilize March -- Travel Blog

Day 26 — Wishing I could be home right now…

I just got some really upsetting news–my special little friend Natalie is apparently really sick and on her way to the hospital. Natalie was going to be joining me on the road on Sunday on our way to Oshawa. I was really looking forward to seeing her and racing wheelchairs all the way to Oshawa, but it looks like we’ll have to do it another time. Natalie has been having a tough go of it this winter, second time in the hospital recently, and I’m really wishing I could be there at her side to help her pull through. She’s a tough kid and I know she’s going to fight this flu with everything she’s got (which is far more spunk than I had at her age) but it’s still pretty scary and upsetting stuff. My thoughts and prayers are with the McDonald family tonight–take it easy and get well soon kiddo. Don’t worry about the ride on Sunday, you’ve already done more for me than you could possibly know: I couldn’t be where I am today without your help and I need you to get better because it’s just not as fun without you!

Ugh. I really wish I could be there with her right now.

For a day without much touring around, I was really busy today. It was back to the keyboard for me, writing some long overdue emails and letters and begin focusing my attention on the road ahead. We received some very exciting news that I will be speaking at both Howard Jordan Public School and Central Public School while in Port Hope and I totally can’t wait! Soo-hon, my Education liaison, made this happen out of no where and once again has came up huge–good on you buddy.

Later this afternoon I was contacted again by the Minister of Community and Social Services, who is officially my new best friend. Not only did Madeleine take the time to sit and chat with me before tackling a very busy day, not only did she meet up with me later for a photo, and not only did she endure my Maple Leaf diatribes, she has helped us set up our accommodations for our stay in Ottawa. Apparently, the Hampton Inn in Ottawa is renowned for their accessibility and Madeleine thought it would only be fitting for me to finish my trip there. So, she set me up with the manager, Franco, who was more than happy to help us out. This was a huge help and I once again want to thank Madeleine Meilleur for everything she has done, along with Franco Falcucci and the staff at the Hampton Inn in Ottawa.

The rain is beginning to pour down and I can hear the thunder rumbling outside…I should probably get off the computer and go to bed. While I’m pretty sure I’m safe in this big concrete hotel complex, you can never be too safe with a thunder storm! Besides, it’s always safer hiding under the covers, right?

– Jeff

By Jeffrey Preston

Born with a rare neuromuscular myopathy, Jeff has spent his life dedicated to advocating for himself and others with disabilities. With a PhD in Media Studies from Western University, Jeff's research focuses on the representation of disability in popular and digital culture. Jeff is currently an Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King's University College @ Western University in London, ON.